Elected leaders from Manhattan and Brooklyn stood on the East River waterfront this afternoon to appeal to department store giant Macy’s to move its annual Independence Day fireworks display away from New Jersey and back within the city’s borders.
Since 2009, when it was relocated westward in honor of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s expedition, Macy’s has staged its July Fourth gala on the Hudson River. Critics say that grants the best views of New York’s celebration to residents of New Jersey, and State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Council Member Stephen Levin and others said Monday it’s time to right that wrong.
“New York’s Fourth of July fireworks should be a citywide celebration. Instead, the millions of New Yorkers who live in Brooklyn, Queens and the East Side of Manhattan are kept out of the party, while we send visitors and business to New Jersey. That simply makes no sense,” said Squadron, who represents Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Chinatown Council Member Margaret Chin chimed in, saying: “It is fitting that we once again celebrate our nation’s birthday along the East River, which was the doorway to America for waves of immigrants arriving in New York City.”
Along with attempting to pursuade Macy’s executives to move the annual display eastward, the elected officials also proposed a “Fireworks Community Outreach Plan” that would spread the word to communities across the city when fireworks are planned throughout the year. In a letter to Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, they requested that neighborhood residents and local leaders be notified of specifics about permits, blackout dates and other details.
Meanwhile, Macy’s confirmed to Gothamist today that this year’s show will be staged on the Hudson.